Jon Page from Pages & Pages Booksellers wrote an article about book pricing for Bite the Book. It's a follow up to an earlier article from December 2010. (On a sidenote, that was probably the most links in an opening sentence yet, on this blog.)
Sadly not much has changed with the price of books in Australia over the last 12 months. We have been above parity with the US dollar for quite a while now but there has still not been any significant drop in the prices of books in Australia.
Jon isn't arguing for price parity, as local factors such as the Goods and Service tax (currently at 10%) and especially wage requirements make that impossible. As someone trying to compete on price as best as he can though, he notes that there is a public perception that 'books are just expensive in Australia', and looks into reasons why:
In my opinion the perception problem was created by the growth of book sales in Discount Department Stores (DDS) eg Big W, Kmart, Target etc. These stores use books as a ‘loss leader’ to bring people into their stores (which shows the significance books have in retail terms).
The same mistakes are being repeated now with eBook pricing, only on a bigger scale.
It's a interesting (and slightly depressing) look at the challenges of bookselling in Australia.
Read the rest here: http://bitethebook.com/2011/09/08/book-pricing-2/